British Museum forced back around the table after strike ballot

02 Jul 2020

The museum was forced back round the table in direct response to visitor services and security (VSS) members taking part in a successful indicative ballot for strike action as a result of plans to cut breaks from  1 July as part of the VSS review.

PCS believed that we had explored all the options in negotiation with the museum and that there had been no concessions to reasonable requests for suitable breaks and as a result had to ballot members to see what they were prepared to do. The vast majority of members who participated in the ballot showed the strength of feeling by agreeing that they would take strike action to improve on the breaks that are currently being proposed.

During the emergency meeting the museum agreed:

  • To find extra funding to keep security breaks as they are currently until the museum reopens to the public
  • To start a new phase of consultation with unions and will consider any proposals for breaks that are financially and operationally sustainable
  • That finding a solution to this issue is essential
  • To allow time off from duties to participate in consultation meetings with PCS
  • To recognise the continued importance of negotiating with PCS.

Prospect and FDA unions give their support and acknowledge the fundamental part our VSS members play in keeping the museum running, both during the Covid-19 crisis and normal times.

In order that you can have your say, we intend to have consultation meetings with members using Zoom technology. These can be easily accessed by mobile phone, computer, laptop or tablet. We strongly recommend that you participate in these meetings but if you cannot please make sure that you speak to your PCS representative. We intend to hold these meetings during the week commencing 6 July. Notification will be sent by email. If you are currently at work your rep will also try and speak to you about how you can participate.

The power of collective action has been very clearly demonstrated, as your reps had hit a brick wall in negotiations and discussions on what matters to members would not have carried on otherwise.

Please make sure your colleagues see this briefing and if they are not already members ask them to join PCS. The more of us there are, the stronger we will be. We are the union.

Follow the link PCS Digital to make sure PCS has your personal email and mobile phone number, so we can keep in touch easily.

Society is in a crisis because of Covid-19 and the culture and heritage sectors are facing the prospect of more cuts. We are asking members to please sign and share the petition: EMERGENCY FUNDING FOR CULTURE NOW

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